The Scottish sculptor and artist Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi CBE FRA, was the eldest son of Italian immigrants, born on 7th March 1924 in Edinburgh. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, briefly at the St Martin's School of Art in 1944, and then at the Slade School of Art in London (after his national service in 1944) until 1947. His first one-man exhibition was in 1947 at the Mayor Gallery, London and it was after this that he moved to Paris where he met Giacometti, Helion, Tzara, Arp Brancusi, Braque and Leger. He was highly influenced by surrealism and Dubuffet's 'art brut'.
He returned to London in 1949 to teach textile design at the Central School of Art & Design where he remained until 1955. In 1951 he designed textiles and wallpaper and sculpted a well for the Festival of Britain. In 1952 he was a founder member of the Independent Group at the ICA London which is considered to be a precursor to the '60's British pop art movement. Latterly he became better known as a sculptor. Paolozzi is known for producing largely lifelike statuary works, but with rectilinear (often cubic) elements added or removed, or the human form deconstructed in a cubist manner.
Paolozzi was awarded the CBE in 1968 and in 1979 he was elected to the Royal Academy. He became the Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland in 1986, holding the office until his death. He became Sir Eduardo upon his knighthood in 1989.
In 2001 Paolozzi suffered a near-fatal stroke (causing an incorrect magazine report that he had died).However, illness confined him to a wheelchair, and he died in a hospital in London in April 2005.
His works include:
The mosaic patterned walls of the Tottenham Court Road tube station
The cover of Paul McCartney's album Red Rose Speedway
The ceiling panels and window tapestry at Cleish Castle
The "Piscator" sculpture outside Euston Station London
Relief aluminium doors for the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Gallery
Display cases in the Museum of Scotland
The bronze sculpture Newton, after William Blake, 1995, in the piazza of the British Library
The Manuscript of Monte Casino, an open palm, a section of limb and a human foot, located at the head of Leith Walk, looking towards Paolozzi's birthplace Leith.
He taught sculpture and ceramics at a number of institutions, including University of California, Berkeley (in 1968) and at the Royal College of Art. Paolozzi has a long association with Germany, having worked in Berlin from 1974 as part of the Artists Exchange Scheme. He was a professor at the Fachhochschule in Cologne from 1977 to 1981, and later taught sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Institute in Munich.